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Isaac Hayes dead at 65

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Isaac Hayes dead at 65

Old 08-10-08, 06:12 PM
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Isaac Hayes dead at 65

From Associated Press:

MEMPHIS, Tenn. - Isaac Hayes, the baldheaded, baritone-voiced soul crooner who laid the groundwork for disco and whose "Theme From Shaft" won both Academy and Grammy awards, died Sunday afternoon after he collapsed near a treadmill, authorities said. He was 65.

Hayes was pronounced dead at Baptist East Hospital in Memphis an hour after he was found by a family member, the Shelby County Sheriff's Office said. The cause of death was not immediately known.

With his muscular build, shiny head and sunglasses, Hayes cut a striking figure at a time when most of his contemporaries were sporting Afros. His music, which came to be known as urban-contemporary, paved the way for disco as well as romantic crooners like Barry White.

And in his spoken-word introductions and interludes, Hayes was essentially rapping before there was rap. His career hit another high in 1997 when he became the voice of Chef, the sensible school cook and devoted ladies man on the animated TV show "South Park."

"Isaac Hayes embodies everything that's soul music," Collin Stanback, an A&R executive at Stax, told The Associated Press on Sunday. "When you think of soul music you think of Isaac Hayes — the expression ... the sound and the creativity that goes along with it."

Hayes was about to begin work on a new album for Stax, the soul record label he helped build to legendary status. And he had recently finished work on a movie called "Soul Men" in which he played himself, starring Samuel Jackson and Bernie Mac, who died on Saturday.

Steve Shular, a spokesman for the sheriff's office, said authorities received a 911 call after Hayes' wife and young son and his wife's cousin returned home from the grocery store and found him collapsed in a downstairs bedroom. A sheriff's deputy administered CPR until paramedics arrived.

"The treadmill was running but he was unresponsive lying on the floor," Shular said.

The album "Hot Buttered Soul" made Hayes a star in 1969. His shaven head, gold chains and sunglasses gave him a compelling visual image.

"Hot Buttered Soul" was groundbreaking in several ways: He sang in a "cool" style unlike the usual histrionics of big-time soul singers. He prefaced the song with "raps," and the numbers ran longer than three minutes with lush arrangements.

"Jocks would play it at night," Hayes recalled in a 1999 Associated Press interview. "They could go to the bathroom, they could get a sandwich, or whatever."

Next came "Theme From Shaft," a No. 1 hit in 1971 from the film "Shaft" starring Richard Roundtree.

"That was like the shot heard round the world," Hayes said in the 1999 interview.

At the Oscar ceremony in 1972, Hayes performed the song wearing an eye-popping amount of gold and received a standing ovation. TV Guide later chose it as No. 18 in its list of television's 25 most memorable moments. He won an Academy Award for the song and was nominated for another one for the score. The song and score also won him two Grammys.

"The rappers have gone in and created a lot of hit music based upon my influence," he said. "And they'll tell you if you ask."

Hayes was elected to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002.

"I knew nothing about the business, or trends and things like that," he said. "I think it was a matter of timing. I didn't know what was unfolding."

A self-taught musician, he was hired in 1964 by Stax Records of Memphis as a backup pianist, working as a session musician for Otis Redding and others. He also played saxophone.

He began writing songs, establishing a songwriting partnership with David Porter, and in the 1960s they wrote such hits for Sam and Dave as "Hold On, I'm Coming" and "Soul Man."

All this led to his recording contract.

In 1972, he won another Grammy for his album "Black Moses" and earned a nickname he reluctantly embraced. Hayes composed film scores for "Tough Guys" and "Truck Turner" besides "Shaft." He also did the song "Two Cool Guys" on the "Beavis and Butt-Head Do America" movie soundtrack in 1996. Additionally, he was the voice of Nickelodeon's "Nick at Nite" and had radio shows in New York City (1996 to 2002) and then in Memphis.

He was in several movies, including "It Could Happen to You" with Nicolas Cage, "Ninth Street" with Martin Sheen, "Reindeer Games" starring Ben Affleck and the blaxploitation parody "I'm Gonna Git You, Sucka."

In the 1999 interview, Hayes described the South Park cook as "a person that speaks his mind; he's sensitive enough to care for children; he's wise enough to not be put into the 'wack' category like everybody else in town — and he l-o-o-o-o-ves the ladies."

But Hayes angrily quit the show in 2006 after an episode mocked his Scientology religion.

"There is a place in this world for satire," he said. "but there is a time when satire ends and intolerance and bigotry toward religious beliefs of others begins."

Co-creator creators Matt Stone responded that Hayes "has no problem — and he's cashed plenty of checks — with our show making fun of Christians." A subsequent episode of the show seemingly killed off the Chef character.

Hayes was born in 1942 in a tin shack in Covington, Tenn., about 40 miles north of Memphis. He was raised by his maternal grandparents after his mother died and his father took off when he was 1 1/2. The family moved to Memphis when he was 6.

Hayes wanted to be a doctor, but got redirected when he won a talent contest in ninth grade by singing Nat King Cole's "Looking Back."

He held down various low-paying jobs, including shining shoes on the legendary Beale Street in Memphis. He also played gigs in rural Southern juke joints where at times he had to hit the floor because someone began shooting.
Old 08-10-08, 06:41 PM
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Holy shit!

Chef is dead

That Soul Men movie is cursed!

$5 says we get a "Best of Chef" South Park DVD set in the new few months...
Old 08-10-08, 06:46 PM
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That's sad. Hail to the Chef!
Old 08-10-08, 09:57 PM
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RIP

I'm sure he's in a better place...you know up in a spaceship with other thetans.
Old 08-10-08, 10:09 PM
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Rip
Old 08-10-08, 10:12 PM
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Originally Posted by PopcornTreeCt
RIP

I'm sure he's in a better place...you know up in a spaceship with other thetans.
Or cruising around in a Cadillac Fleetwood with chandelier headlights.
Old 08-10-08, 10:26 PM
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Thread #3.
Old 08-10-08, 10:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Layziebones
Thread #3.
Yeah, I noticed there was a thread in Other, but I figured there were plenty of people (like me) that never venture there.
Old 08-11-08, 12:06 PM
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I'll watch Escape from N.Y. tonight in remembrance. He might have been into some wacky Scientology shit, but the man made some great music and starred in some classic cult films.

R.I.P.
Old 08-11-08, 05:33 PM
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Originally Posted by KillerCannibal
I'll watch Escape from N.Y. tonight in remembrance. He might have been into some wacky Scientology shit, but the man made some great music and starred in some classic cult films.

R.I.P.

I agree. Personal beliefs aside he was great! Love him in I'm Gonna Git You Sucka!

Gonna miss you, brah!
Old 08-12-08, 02:00 PM
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HTTP://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,401321,00.html

Isaac Hayes' History With Scientology


Isaac Hayes
My friend, Isaac Hayes, died on Sunday, and his passing leaves many unanswered questions.

The great R&B star, actor, DJ, performer and family man, the composer of “Soul Man,” “Hold On I’m Coming” and other hits by Sam Moore and Dave Prater like “When Something Is Wrong with My Baby,” also was a member of the Church of Scientology.

Isaac was found dead by his treadmill, but conveniently missing from the wire stories was a significant fact: in January 2006, Isaac had a significant stroke. At the time, the word went out only that he had been hospitalized for exhaustion.

But the truth was, Isaac, whom I’d seen just a couple of months earlier when he headlined the Blues Ball in Memphis, was in trouble. Having lost the rights to his songs two decades earlier, he was finally making some money voicing the character of Chef on “South Park.” But “South Park” lampooned Scientology, so the leaders wanted Isaac out.

Push came to shove on Nov. 16, 2005, when “South Park” aired its hilarious “Trapped in the Closet” episode spoofing Tom Cruise and John Travolta. “South Park” creator Matt Stone told me later that Isaac had come to him in tears.

“He said he was under great pressure from Scientology, and if we didn’t stop poking at them, he’d have to leave," Stone said.

The conversation ended there. Isaac performed Chef’s signature song at the Blues Ball a week later with great delight. Although he was devoted to Scientology, he also loved being part of “South Park.” He was proud of it. And, importantly, it gave him income he badly needed.

But then came the stroke, which was severe. His staff — consisting of Scientology monitors who rarely left him alone — tried to portray it as a minor health issue. It wasn’t. Sources in Memphis told me at the time that Isaac had significant motor control and speech issues. His talking was impaired.

In March 2006, news came that Hayes was resigning from “South Park." On March 20, 2006, I wrote a column called “Chef’s Quitting Controversy,” explaining that Hayes was in no position to have quit anything due to his stroke. But Scientology issued the statement to the press saying Hayes had resigned, and the press just ate it up. No one spoke to Isaac directly, because he couldn’t literally speak. "Chef” was written out of the show.

Isaac’s income stream was severely impaired as a result. Suddenly there were announcements of his touring, and performing. It didn’t seem possible, but word went out that he’d be at BB King’s in New York in January 2007. I went to see him and reported on it here.

The show was abomination. Isaac was plunked down at a keyboard, where he pretended to front his band. He spoke-sang, and his words were halting. He was not the Isaac Hayes of the past.

What was worse was that he barely knew me. He had appeared in my documentary, "Only the Strong Survive," released in 2003. We knew each other very well. I was actually surprised that his Scientology minder, Christina Kumi Kimball, with whom I had difficult encounters in the past, let me see him backstage at BB King’s. Our meeting was brief, and Isaac said quietly that he did know me. But the light was out in his eyes, and the situation was worrisome.

But the general consensus was that he needed the money. Without “Chef,” Isaac’s finances were severely curtailed. He had mouths to feed to home. Plus, Scientology requires huge amounts of money, as former member, actor Jason Beghe, has explained in this space. For Isaac to continue in the sect, he had to come up with funds. Performing was the only way.

In recent months, I’ve had conflicting reports. One mutual friend says that Isaac had looked and sounded much better lately at business meetings. But actor Samuel L. Jackson, who recently filmed scenes with Isaac and the late Bernie Mac for a new movie called “Soul Men,” told me on Saturday that Isaac really wasn’t up to the physical demands of shooting the movie. (Neither, it seems, was Bernie Mac.)

Sam Moore, who recorded those Isaac Hayes songs in the '60s and loved the writer-performer like a brother, told me Sunday when he heard about the death: “I’m happy.” Happy, I asked? “Yes, happy he’s out of pain.” It was one of the most beautiful ideas I’d ever heard expressed on the subject of death.

But there are a lot of questions still to be raised about Isaac Hayes’ death. Why, for example, was a stroke survivor on a treadmill by himself? What was his condition? What kind of treatment had he had since the stroke? Members of Scientology are required to sign a form promising they will never seek psychiatric or mental assistance. But stroke rehabilitation involves the help of neurologists and often psychiatrists, not to mention psychotropic drugs — exactly the kind Scientology proselytizes against.

What will come next, I’m afraid, is a wild dogfight among family members for Isaac’s estate. His song catalog (with David Porter) is one of the greatest in music history. Isaac lost the rights to his big hit songs in 1977. But thanks to something called the Songwriters Act, his heirs — whoever they are determined to be — automatically get the rights back as the songs come up for copyright renewal. I guarantee this will not be pretty. Isaac Lee Hayes has over 300 original compositions listed with BMI, from the Sam & Dave songbook to Carla Thomas’ “BABY (Baby)” to his monumental instrumental “Theme from SHAFT.”

None of this should ever take away from who Isaac Hayes really was: a great friend, a warm congenial man with a big heart and a big laugh. He had married again right before his stroke, and was very happy. If he hadn’t had the stroke, I am certain he would have recorded a new album. There was talk of it after the stroke, but nothing materialized. When we made and promoted “Only the Strong Survive,” he was a masterful musician with a great mind and a wicked sense of humor. His loss at 65 is simply way too early and very tragic.

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